May is national elder law month, a time when people with elderly family and loved ones can take the time to think about the issues people face as they get older. Elder law attorneys are experts at assisting the elderly and their families with a range of legal issues. But, unfortunately, most people who need an elder law attorney wait too long before reaching out for help. Acting now can often allow you to be prepared for what lies in the future instead of being caught off guard.
Everyone loses abilities as they age, and that loss of ability can lead to some significant legal consequences. If, for example, you have a parent who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, someone will likely need to step in to begin making decisions on the parent’s behalf. An elderly person can choose who he or she wants to make the decisions by creating a power of attorney, but only while he or she maintains cognitive capacity. If you lose the ability to make decisions, a court will have to appoint a guardian or conservator.
Long-Term Care Planning
Elderly people who are unable to care for themselves often have to transition into a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home. If you haven’t made preparations for this transition, it can be incredibly difficult. Not only is financing a problem, but the emotional and mental effects of transitioning to an elder care facility can have significant negative consequences.